In previous blog, the increasing number of Chinese students going abroad especially to US for better quality education was mentioned. On the contrary, there has been a substantial drop in enrollment of American students in programs in China. A leading study abroad group reports that interest in China has been decreasing since 2013 along with the half sized American student enrollment in China’s abroad programs.
Because the educational interaction between young intellectuals often reflects the two countries’ relationship, the obvious waning of interest is a concern from a diplomatic standpoint as well. One of the reasons behind the drop is that U.S. students no longer see high demand for American expats with some Chinese language skills, thanks to China’s strong emphasis on English proficiency from elementary school. Today a lot of Chinese students can speak English. In addition, there is a lack of agents in the U.S. who can bring students to China to study, and increasing concern about having a job in China for the country’s severe air pollution.